Biden shares his ‘relief’ with Floyd family after Chauvin convicted of murder

US President Joe Biden has told the family of George Floyd he is “relieved” after former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of his murder.

Chauvin, 45, had denied all three counts, but was found unanimously guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

He showed no visible emotion as the verdict was handed down and he was refused bail, before being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs to be sentenced in eight weeks’ time.

Philonise Floyd (left) raises his hand in celebration with family lawyer Ben Crump
Image:Philonise Floyd (left) raises his hand in celebration with family lawyer Ben Crump

Mr Biden called the Floyd family immediately after the verdict.

Video footage of the phone call shared by their lawyer Ben Crump captured the president saying: “Nothing is going to make it all better, but at least now there is some justice. We’re all so relieved.”

The president said the family had been “incredible” throughout the trial, that he had been “praying the verdict was the right verdict”.

Vice President Kamala Harris promised that “we will make something good come out of this tragedy”.

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Civil rights activist the Reverend Al Sharpton addressed crowds outside the courtroom. Pic: AP
Image:Civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton addressed crowds outside the courtroom. Pic: AP

Speaking outside the courtroom, civil rights activist Reverend Al Sharpton encouraged family members and supporters to link arms in prayer.

He said through tears: “We broke down in tears when we heard the verdict. We had to hold each other in tears, but today we can wipe our tears away and fight for another day.”

Rev Sharpton said the family “don’t celebrate a man going to jail”, as they would have preferred their loved one to be alive.

Today is a solemn day in America. Join me and my colleagues at the United States Capitol as we stand in solidarity after the Derek Chauvin murder trial verdict is announced. https://t.co/cDqszBZCle

— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) April 20, 2021

Mr Floyd’s brother Philonise thanked “all the protesters, all the attorneys and all the activists for stepping up”.

“Because justice for George means freedom for all,” he said.

Mr Floyd’s nephew Brandon Williams told crowds: “We need police reform bad.

“We need each and every officer to be held accountable and until then it’s still scary to be a black man and woman in America.”

Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more. Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied. pic.twitter.com/mihZQHqACV

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 20, 2021

I was appalled by the death of George Floyd and welcome this verdict.

My thoughts tonight are with George Floyd’s family and friends.

— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) April 20, 2021

Former president Barack Obama tweeted his reaction.

“Today, a jury did the right thing. But true justice requires much more,” he wrote.

“Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”

Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman posted: “A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive. Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice.”

People react to the verdict on the streets of Minneapolis
Image:People react to the verdict on the streets of Minneapolis
Tears of relief as Derek Chauvin is found guilty
Image:Tears of relief as Derek Chauvin is found guilty

While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thanked Mr Floyd for “sacrificing your life for justice” as she gathered outside the White House with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “appalled” by Mr Floyd’s death and that he welcomes the verdict.

Mr Floyd, 46, died on 25 May last year after being arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 note.

Video footage that sparked protests around the world showed Chauvin with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck as he pleaded: “I can’t breathe”.

Despite onlookers’ pleas for him to stop, he continued for nine-and-half minutes.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

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